When it comes to survival, you can focus so much on “Plan A” that “Plan B” is forgotten. Then disaster strikes and Plan B turns out to be just what you needed! Here’s what I mean: You’ve done a good job of survival planning, and you’ve stockpiled all you need to sustain you for several months. But what happens when you’re cut off from your stockpile through something natural, like fire or flood, or something potentially deadlier, like an organized gang looking for relief of their own?
For the sake of your own safety (and your family’s safety) you need to be ready to face dangers both natural and man-made. And beyond your own family, you can also serve to help others going through a similar situation (even those who ridiculed your priority of preparation; this is no time for “I told you so”).
There’s no one-size-fits-all way to prepare for the unknown. Your response will depend on being ready for a number of scenarios. There’s a time when survival means fighting it out – and a time when the only option is escape.
You need an escape plan to help you get to a safer location or even completely out of dodge if needed. And when you go, you need a survival pack to sustain you at least for a week. It can take a while to list and gather the things you need, so I’ve given you a head start.
1. The Pack to Keep It All In. Any sturdy, durable pack with enough room will do. Make sure it’s camouflage, dark green, or another color that will help you remain undetected.
2. Basic Sustenance. First, water. Get a canteen with cup, a water bottle, and of course, a water filter. Then, fire; add a supply of waterproof matches, a magnesium fire starter, and tinder. Then food to last you for at least a week. Think dry, think shelf life – some ideas are oatmeal, energy bars, and freeze-dried foods. Get a light weight mess kit to cook your meals, and a small stove such as the Peak-One backpackers stove.
3. Setting up Camp. First, pack a sleeping bag, a potential life saver in cold weather. The best is a light weight “mummy” style, rated to -20 degrees. Then some form of shelter like a compact tent, again in a color that readily blends with the environment. For injuries and illness, pack a first-aid kit tailored to your individual needs; of course, include a supply of your own personal meds. Complete this part of your preparation by including a source of light (as simple as a small LED flashlight and two sets of batteries) and some basic tools – a folding saw, Swiss Army knife, and a small shovel.
4. Some Ideas for the Long Haul. So far, we’ve looked at the basics. Here are a few other things too add to your survival pack that may be useful for an emergency that lasts more than a few days.
– A fishing kit and snare wire to multiply your chances of finding food when your supply runs out.
– Small binoculars help you see game, as well as your enemy, before they see you.
– Plastic bags (both big and small) are handy in a variety of ways, including keeping things dry.
– Extra clothing – At least one extra pair of socks and underwear, other items if space permits.
Other useful stuff – brainstorm a little if you have extra room. How about electrical tape, face paint, gloves, and a sharpening stone?
5. Firearms. I’ve left this for last, because everyone with a heart for survival has their own idea of the best to bring along. Suffice it to say, your personal choice will be shaped by whatever gun you can see yourself carrying in an emergency situation; in other words, something you consider durable, dependable, and powerful enough to turn a worst case scenario into at least a level playing field.
Having a survival pack ready to be grabbed at a moment’s notice, and an escape route to follow, makes perfect sense. Don’t wait too long to pack the things you’ll need if you’re cut off from your home and stockpile. And this may not be permanent. If you can put some distance between yourself and the threat, you may be able to launch a retaliatory strike from a more favorable position.